|Member of the Michigan Senate|
from the 29th district
January 1, 2019
|Member of the Michigan House of Representatives|
from the 76th district
January 1, 2013 - December 31, 2018
|Born||February 17, 1968|
Mount Vernon, Washington
|Residence||Grand Rapids, Michigan|
|Alma mater||Calvin College|
Winnie Brinks (born February 17, 1968) is a Democratic politician, serving as member of the Michigan Senate beginning in 2019, and the Michigan House of Representatives from 2013 through 2018. Before serving in elected office, Brinks worked as an executive at a non-profit. She serves as the Michigan Democratic Caucus Policy Chair. In the Michigan House, she served on the Workforce and Talent Development, Education, Health Policy, and Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committees. She also serves as chair of the Progressive Women's Caucus, a non-profit organization that addresses concerns about women's health, pay equity, economic security and gender violence.
Brinks earned a bachelor's degree in Spanish from Calvin College. For several years she was Executive Director of One Way House Inc., a residential facility for non-violent female offenders. She also was a caseworker at The Source, an employee support organization.
Brinks was recruited to run for office after Roy Schmidt, who had previously been elected to the Michigan House as a Democrat, switched to the Republican Party at the deadline to file for re-election, leaving no legitimate Democratic candidate on the primary ballot. Brinks ran in the primary as a write-in candidate, exceeding the 1,000 votes required to win the Democratic nomination. She then defeated Schmidt in the November general election. In 2014, she was re-elected, defeating Republican challenger Donijo DeJonge, and in 2016 she defeated Republican challenger Casey J. O'Neill.
Due to term limits, Brinks was unable to run for re-election in 2018, and instead ran successfully for the 29th district of the Michigan Senate. Brinks defeated fellow state representative Chris Afendoulis, a Republican, and Libertarian and Working Class Party candidates. She succeeded Dave Hildenbrand, also a Republican, who was required by term limits to vacate the seat.
|State Representative||2012||23,530||12,337||Roy Schmidt |
|State Representative||2014||15,804||13,822||Donijo DeJonge|
|State Representative||2016||27,046||18,473||Casey J. O'Neill|
|State Senator||2018||70,715||50,225||Chris Afendoulis|